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Underscore News

Broken Pipes, Broken Treaties

On the Warm Springs Reservation, residents have been without clean drinking water for three summers in a row. Where is the fix?. Carina Miller knew it was coming. In May of last year, a water-main pipe burst on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation. For the following three months, residents were advised not to drink water from their taps without boiling it first. The issue subsided after a patchwork repair, but this summer it returned. As if COVID-19 wasn’t challenging enough, the 4,296 residents of Warm Springs must once again contend with the reoccurring emergency of broken pipes as well.
WARM SPRINGS, OR
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Allied Forces

Native American Activists See Purpose with Black Lives Matter. For over a century, “The Pioneer” stood tall on his pedestal on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene. With his heavy beard, boots, and buckskin, he struck many Oregonians as the embodiment of frontier courage and determination, representative of settlers who traveled thousands of miles to tame the Wild West and build a new life for themselves.
EUGENE, OR
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A Timeline of Portland’s Season of Protest

May 25: Laid-off security guard George Floyd, a Black man, is killed when a Minneapolis police officer kneels on his neck for nearly eight minutes, triggering protests around the country. May 28: Portland’s then-Police Chief Jami Resch issues a statement regarding Floyd’s death: “The actions and tactics displayed on the...
PORTLAND, OR

Rough Justice: Portland Police and protestors are locked in a vicious circle. How did we get here?

For nearly two months, a small portion of downtown Portland has smelled like tear gas. Nights are filled with the sounds of explosions and drums, police warnings to clear the area, and the shouts of protesters. Outside the Multnomah County Justice Center — now blanketed with graffiti calling for the abolition of the police or death to cops — riot-control police square off against citizens wearing gas masks and homemade armor.
PORTLAND, OR

Guest Essay: A Historical Perspective on Pandemic

As Oregon tribes know only too well, the Native American experience with COVID-19 is only the latest chapter in a centuries-long tragedy. The first recorded wave of new diseases visited the tribes of Oregon in the 1770s. Smallpox, hitchhiking in the bodies of white traders, came up the Columbia River and killed about 30 percent of the Native Americans in the Willamette Valley and Columbia River basin. Around 1805, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark noted the telltale scars of smallpox on the faces of older Native American men on the Columbia, signs of previous unreported trading with whites.
PUBLIC HEALTH

Wildfire Season Meets COVID‑19

When Colby Drake hears mention of COVID-19, he doesn’t just think of face masks or physical distancing at the supermarket. He sees forests burning. As Fire Prevention Manager for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Drake has the daunting task of preparing for fire season in the middle of an economic and public health catastrophe.
ENVIRONMENT

Oceans Away

While their home islands drown, Micronesians living in Oregon struggle to save their heritage. Bouncing a baby on his lap in his apartment in Salem, Oregon, Dexter Moluputo recalls the rhythms and simple pleasures of his childhood home in the Federated States of Micronesia, a country comprising more than 600 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. As a boy, he spent most days with his friends, surfing on homemade surfboards or spearfishing off the reef.
PORTLAND, OR

Torn Apart

Pandemic has forced the cancellation of events everywhere. But in Indian Country, not congregating comes with added cost—and risk. Every spring, inside the Celilo Longhouse at Celilo Village on the edge of the Columbia River, traditional elders, food gatherers, and members of the public prepare to feast on the first Chinook salmon of the season. Ahead of the annual celebration, the sound of traditional songs and drums fills the air, as celebrants roast fish over open fires.
SOCIETY

Band of Others: Breaking patterns of violence

This is the final article in a series that examines violent extremist groups in the Pacific Northwest. This story looks at one tool local governments use to counter violent groups: specialty courts with highly-supervised probation aimed at combating the allure of gang membership.
PORTLAND, OR

Band of Others: Breaking patterns of violence

This is the final article in a series that examines violent extremist groups in the Pacific Northwest. This story looks at one tool local governments use to counter violent groups: specialty courts with highly-supervised probation aimed at combating the allure of gang membership.
PORTLAND, OR

Responding to Hate

Former right-wing radicals are leading efforts to counter violent extremists. But do they work?. On the eve of a right-wing extremist rally on Aug. 17, 2019, in downtown Portland, Mayor Ted Wheeler released a video in which he said, “To those people planning to come and inflict violence in our city: We don’t want you here.”
ADVOCACY

Band of Others: The new face of ‘nativist bigotry’

Patriot Prayer leaders insist they’re not racists, but they continue to draw praise from white supremacists. This final installment in a 3-part series is a collaboration between Underscore.news and Pamplin Media Group in partnership with The Columbian. For the past year, Sergio Olmos has been granted on-the-record access to Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, one of the violence-prone, far-right groups that seem to zero in on Portland as a way to gain attention for their cause. The content relies heavily on interviews with subjects, some of which were recorded by audio with the subjects knowledge and permission. This article is intended to demonstrate the complex relationships that sustain a growing movement of violence and hate.
SOCIETY

Band Of Others: Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer

How Joey Gibson, and those who orbit around Patriot Prayer, have found meaning (and thrills) in violent right-wing extremism. For much of this year, reporter Sergio Olmos has been granted on-the-record access to Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, one of the violence-prone, far-right groups that have turned Portland into a cage match with violent liberal groups.
PORTLAND, OR

Band of Others, Part II

For much of this year, Underscore reporter Sergio Olmos was granted on-the-record access to Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, one of the violence-prone, far-right groups that have turned Portland into a cage match with violent liberal groups.